World Health Organization (WHO)

Technical Officer (Safe Use of Pharmaceuticals, Biologicals and Vaccines)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

OBJECTIVE OF THE OFFICE/DEPARTMENT This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) The primary objective of the Department of Health Systems and Services (HSS) is to strengthen health systems based on Primary Health Care, supporting universal health coverage. Its work encompasses the following areas: strengthening health systems governance for social protection in health; strengthening regulatory frameworks and financial protection mechanisms to promote the progressive realization of the right to health; organizing people-centered, integrated health service delivery; promoting access to and rational use of quality, safe, and effective health technologies; strengthening national health research systems, and promoting the integration of scientific knowledge into health care, health policies, and technical cooperation; and developing Human Resources for health.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES Under the general supervision of the Director, Health Systems and Services (HSS) and the direct supervision of the Unit Chief, Medicines and Health Technologies (HSS/MT), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:
  1. Provide Technical Support for the implementation of activities included in the entity’s program of work and the Organization’s Strategic Plan; support the implementation of technical cooperation in the area of work of health systems and services, with a focus on the appropriate and safe use of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and vaccines;
  2. Contribute to and support the national planning, Coordination, execution and evaluation of the agreed lines of action in support of the surveillance of medicines, biologicals and vaccine safety, and implementation of the global and regional antimicrobial resistance (AMR) containment plans, in particular the components of: awareness campaign, consumer evaluation, sales surveys, use optimization programs, auditing and enforcement of sales under prescription;
  3. Collaborate in providing Analysis of the broad range of inter-agency activities related to the Medicines and health technologies project/program, seeking out and identifying the critical areas for cooperation aligned with the program for pharmaceuticals, biologicals and vaccines use and safety goals and preparing proposals for management’s consideration;
  4. Provide support for Capacity Building, networking, and improvement of capacities of Member States to implement National action plans on Pharmacovigilance, substandard and falsified pharmaceuticals, biologicals and vaccines, and all aspects related to the safe use of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and vaccines;
  5. Support the coordination and development, as well as monitoring and following up of national active pharmacovigilance initiatives;
  6. Provide technical support for development and implementation of plans, guidelines, protocols and documents as tools for strengthening and building capacities at national and subnational levels towards the rational use of medicines goals in Latin American and Caribbean Countries;
  7. Collaborate to strengthen coordination of activities among stakeholders, partners and health authorities for the implementation of strategies, programs and plans;
  8. Develop and update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and strategic policies for event reporting and information sharing regarding best evidence and practices as well as successful experiences;
  9. Provide relevant policy and technical teams with critical information on project-related priorities, activities and opportunities for cooperation;
  10. Collaborate in the preparation of progress reports, situation analyses of the use of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and vaccines, in particular antimicrobials, and other documents with strategic information for dissemination at regional level, in order to document and systematize information in the framework of the Organization’s Resolutions and the progress of countries towards established goals;
  11. Collaborate in the preparation, review and evaluation of grant proposals and public health protocols, including their submission to bioethics committees and research proposals on the safe use of medicines, as well as in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of grants and projects funded by donors and stakeholders as support for the implementation of activities for technical cooperation in Latin American Countries and Caribbean countries;
  12. Participate actively in relevant working groups, meetings and fora; compile reports and present analyses on programmatic issues;
  13. Conduct research on technical areas, as directed; obtain and share information on project-related issues;
  14. Perform other related duties, as assigned.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS Education: Essential: A bachelor’s degree in pharmacy or chemistry-pharmacy or other health science related to the functions of the post, from a recognized university.

Desirable: A master’s degree in public health or Global Health or another related field would be an asset.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO, only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.

Experience: Essential: Seven years of combined national and international experience in supporting project management of pharmacovigilance, pharmaceutical services, regulation and safe use of pharmaceuticals, biologicals, and vaccines.

Desirable: Experience working on the development/implementation of indicators for rational use of medicines would be an asset.

SKILLS: PAHO Competencies:
  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others/Deal effectively with conflict - Creates team spirit; promotes collaboration and open communication in the team; proactively supports others; welcomes team responsibilities and drives team results; promotes knowledge sharing in the team. Proactively identifies conflicts and facilitates their resolution in a respectful manner; tactfully resolves conflicts between or with others and takes action to reduce any possible tension; effectively builds a rapport with individuals and teams, establishing good personal and professional relationships, as well as minimizing risk of potential conflict.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Communication: Express oneself clearly when speaking/Listen/Write effectively/Share knowledge - Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly. Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views. Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results/Take responsibility - Prioritizes work, monitors own progress against objectives and adapts plans as required; communicates adjustments as necessary. Acts proactively and stimulates action as needed; handles problems effectively and constructively. Produces high-quality results and workable solutions that meet clients’ needs. Works independently to produce new results and sets own timelines effectively and efficiently. Shows awareness of own role and clarifies roles of team members in relation to project’s expected results. Makes proposals for improving processes as required and takes responsibility for own work and/or actions, as necessary. Demonstrates positive attitude in working on new projects and initiatives. Demonstrates accountability for own success, as well as for errors; learns from experience.
  • Moving forward in a changing environment: Propose change/Adapt to change - Actively supports Organizational change initiatives and demonstrates personal commitment to them, including when faced with new demands; proposes workable solutions to challenging situations. Engages in positive responses to a changing environment and promotes workable solutions to achieve own and team’s results. Welcomes, and actively seeks to apply, new ideas, approaches and working methods and technologies in order to improve own and/or team’s work processes and results; demonstrates commitment to Organizational change initiatives.
Technical Expertise:
  • Analytical skills, knowledge and experience in supporting the areas of vaccines, pharmaceuticals and, biologicals selection, safety, regulation, use and monitoring; knowledge and experience in the coordination of Pharmacovigilance activities including active surveillance, and support to substandard and falsified products prevention, detection and response.
  • Knowledge in the field of indicators for evaluation of National Regulatory Authorities and Pharmaceutical services.
  • Knowledge and experience in the field of antimicrobial resistance and in particular the evaluation of antibiotic consumption and rational use.
  • Knowledge and experience with country indicators of rational use of medicines.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce, analyze data, use and share information with a variety of actors in different environments.
  • Strong research and problem-solving skills; ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and to work collaboratively on multidisciplinary teams with tight schedules.
  • Ability to work effectively with colleagues at the national and international level, and to provide leadership and monitor progress.
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of international technical cooperation.
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.
Languages: Very good knowledge of English or Spanish with a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills: Demonstrated ability to effectively use a computer and utilize software programs such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Outlook. Other IT skills and knowledge of other software programs such as Visio and Project would be an asset.

REMUNERATION Annual Salary: (Net of taxes) US $62,120.00 post adjustment Post Adjustment: 49.6% of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

A written test may be used as a form of screening.

Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.

For information on PAHO please visit: PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.

All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.

Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.

Apply Now